Knicks Looking For “Unquestioned Upgrade” If Drafting PG At No. 9

The Knicks didn’t move up in the lottery and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has the team selecting Collin Sexton in his post-lottery mock draft. However, a source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that they have yet to decide whether the Alabama product is an “unquestioned upgrade” over the point guards already on the roster.

The team selected Frank Ntilikina with the No.8 overall pick last summer. “Frank’s a better defender,’’ one NBA personnel director said. “And Collin can struggle with his shot.’’

New York’s preference is to take a small forward, though Berman notes that’s only the case if prospects are seen as equal. The available prospect with the highest upside may be the pick regardless of the player’s position.

The Knicks also have Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke in-house. Neither appears to be the point guard of the future in New York, though both should be near-locks to make the roster next season.

The option of passing on Sexton might not even present itself, as Alabama coach Avery Johnson believes Sexton will rise in the draft after working out for teams. “Nine range?’’ the former NBA player and coach said. “If they saw what I have seen, I’m not trying to promote my player [because] my reputation is on the line also. But if they’ve seen what I’ve seen, I don’t see how he gets past five.’’

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31 thoughts on “Knicks Looking For “Unquestioned Upgrade” If Drafting PG At No. 9

  1. acarneglia

    Number 9 and Ntilikinia and Lance Thomas for Kemba Walker. Thomas helps match salary.

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        • padam

          Kareem Abdul Jabbar was from NY if that’s your logic.

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            • padam

              Yes, technically he was born there, but grew up in North Carolina.

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              • acarneglia

                Kemba is from NY. Has said multiple times how much he loves playing at home and at MSG. He had big moments in his college career with UCONN there.

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                • padam

                  We know that. You’re not picking up on the sarcasm of your logic.

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    • Or, if Walker wants to come home, then they can just sign Walker as a UFA after next year AND keep 2 of their 3 best assets. The Knicks aren’t winning anything next year in any event.

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  2. padam

    I’m thinking the Knicks may luck out…

    1. Phoenix – Deondre Ayton
    2. Sacramento – Luka Doncic
    3. Atlanta – Marvin Bagley Jr.
    4. Memphis – Jaren Jackson
    5. Dallas – Mohammed Bamba
    6. Orlando – Trae Young
    7. Chicago – Michael Porter Jr.
    8. Cleveland – Collin Sexton
    9. New York – Wendell Carter
    10. Philadelphia – Mikal Bridges

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    • obutu

      I don’t see Mikal Bridges getting past the Knicks… not for Carter a 6’10 center??

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      • padam

        They need Bridges too, but Carter is a younger talent that has a high ceiling and would probably have gone higher if not shadowed by Bagley Jr. Perry said on Twitter that he’d do with the best talent available – I’d have to say that would be Carter. Besides, they’ll need a center, anyway. KP is a more effective player at the 4 (PF) and can stretch the court.

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        • Z-A

          This draft is full of studs. 2 duds Bamba and Doncic. They need to get a 5 to keep KCP at the 4. However there’s plenty to go around in FA and fewer 3s.

          More than likely its Mikal Bridges.

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          • padam

            Agreed on the duds, and if Carter is taken by the time it’s their turn, then yes, probably Mikal Bridges. But Carter has to be the pick if he does fall.

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            • Z-A

              I think Carter goes to the Cavs or whomever they trade the pick to

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    • FromTheCheapSeats

      Trae Young at six… lol. This kid is a product of ESPN’s hype machine.

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  3. stug14

    Celts offer Rozier and #27 to Knicks for #9. Who says no first?

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  4. H.Henderson

    If Mikal Bridges is available at the ninth selection the Knicks should draft him. Carter Jr. would be a solid pick if the Bulls or Cavs draft Bridges. And if both players are gone the Knicks could draft Miles Bridges or K Knox. I personally would prefer Knox over Miles. Knox is 6’9″ and i can see him being KPs back up for the near future. Miles is talented but with Hardaway, Lee, Ntlikina, Dotson, and Baker on the team already the Knicks do not need another sg.

    Also if the Knicks draft a pg without trading away at least 3 of their current guards, that would mean this years draft pick was wasted, by increasing the log jam at the guard positions. I get it Young and Sexton are tempting but not worth it. The Knicks need to stop playing checkers and play chess. There will be several top pg’s available in the 2019 offseason when the Knicks are expected to have more than enough money to sign a max free agent and at this point still have their 2019 first rounder.

    I have a pipe dream scenario in which the Knicks acquire K Leonard via trade shortly after the draft or maybe even on draft night. The Knicks would send to the Spurs: Lee, Mudiay or Burke, the Knicks 2018 second rounder and 2019 first rounder (lottery protected) and the Knicks get Leonard and the the Spurs second round pick. If that is a draft night scenario, then I would be %110 on board with the Knicks drafting a pg with the ninth overall pick.

    So if miracles do happen then the Knicks would be a playoff contender if Porzingis returns between December and January. I am getting an euphoric feeling just thinking about a starting five of:
    Ntlikina
    Hardaway
    Leonard
    Porzingis
    Kanter, O’Quinn, or Kornet

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    • padam

      Spurs would never do that. Need a lot more. Boston and LAL most likely the players for Leonard. They have the desired assets to get a deal done.

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      • H.Henderson

        Oh I know lol. That’s why it is called a pipe dream.

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      • realistnotsucker

        Spurs aren’t gonna get much for a impending FA that’s the way the NBA works if he a extra than SA would get a kings ransom but they’ll have to trade him 20 cents on the dollar

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  5. cesc

    New York needs to select the best talent possible regardless of position, remember you are a tanking team, starting a rebuild, so talent is more important, than having well balanced team/roster, you can always trade players, & all going well maybe in 2-3 years start thinking of play-offs. You can’t rush a rebuild, if you are gonna do it, do it well.

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    • padam

      Scott Perry said that’s what they’re going to do. We’ll see…

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      • Unfortunately, Perry said a bit more than that, and more than a GM should be saying regarding his approach to this draft.

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